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Fume hoods help to reduce exposure to hazardous or toxic fumes, vapors, or dusts.  They protect the laboratory environment as well as the workers when used for laboratory safety. Navigating the types of fume hoods can be confusing and tricky when trying to find the one that is perfect for your application. Ducted fume hoods, ductless fume hoods, biosafety cabinets, and vented balance safety enclosures all have their advantages and disadvantages when considering the laboratory. Read on to find out more about different types and how they can help you.

How to Choose a Fume Hood

The best place to start when choosing a fume hood is to establish whether you are protecting staff, products, or both. If the goal is to protect the products, then you will likely need a biosafety cabinet. If the goal is to protect staff from the chemicals used, then fume extractor or ducted/ductless chemical hood will be needed. If using a powder, a fume extractor or vented balance safety enclosure is recommended.

Biosafety Cabinets

These protect the user while allowing the handling of delicate substances. These can be HEPA filtered enclosures or ducted to the outside. They can be used to manipulate hazardous, but sensitive biological materials.

Ducted Fume Hoods

Especially useful when dealing with chemically dangerous fumes by providing ventilation to the outside. These are particularly useful when user protection is paramount. The “by-pass” air flow design permits steady airflows within the fume hoodfor a variety of sash positions. Low airflow designs maximize energy efficiency while still protecting the user.

Ductless Fume Hoods

These are employed in facilities where outside ventilation is not an option. They pass air that has been contaminated through filters before returning it into the room. They can remove biological hazards and a large proportion of particulates. Additionally, they can reduce airborne chemicals to safe levels to be following monitoring protocols.

Vented Balance Enclosures

These enclosures are used in pharmaceutical, chemical, biological, and toxicological laboratories to provide maximum containment for weighing operations or powder transfer. They can be filtered or ducted, and they protect the operator by containing the particulates from the powders or substances they are working.


Considering the needs of your laboratory can help to narrow down what types of fume hoods would work best for your application. When looking for fume hoods or laboratory fume hood accessories be sure to contact us. We offer laboratory equipment with industry-leading quality at a reasonable price. Reach out today to find out how we can help with all your lab needs!